Scientists Struggle to Understand the Existence of White ‘Clouds’ Near the Bahamas

Scientists Struggle to Understand the Existence of White ‘Clouds’ Near the Bahamas
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The Bahamas is considered the most beautiful place seen from space, as Scott Kelly, a NASA astronaut, considers. The beautiful white sand beaches can certainly catch people’s view and conquer their hearts forever. Let’s not also forget about the deep blue and turquoise waters that surround the beaches, and there you have an almost complete picture of the Bahamas!

On the surface, strange and white clouds have been appearing for decades, which gave scientists a lot of homework to do. Despite such a long time since the phenomenon occurs (which is also known as the ‘whiting event’), there’s still no definitive explanation available from the researchers, as ScienceAlert reveals.

Sediments might be rising to the surface

Although it’s unknown what’s causing the ‘whiting event’ in the Bahamas, there are a few possible theories. One of them revolves around the possible rising of sediments to the surface.

Between 2011 and 2015, the patches unexpectedly became larger, at their largest occupying more than 200 square kilometers of the ocean: about 77 square miles.

Chuanmin Hu, an oceanographer from the USF, stated:

I wish I could tell you why we saw that peak in activity, but we’re not there yet,

We do see some interesting relationships between environmental conditions, such as the pH, the salinity of water, and the behavior of winds and currents, but we can’t yet say what exact mechanical, biological, or chemical processes were responsible for that peak in activity.

A lot of people usually travel to the Bahamas. Tourist arrivals in the area averaged over 441 thousand between 2004 and  2022, reaching an all-time high of 749.04 thousand in March 2019. On the other hand, the record low was reported for April 2020.

The new research appears in Remote Sensing of Environment.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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